Noodles & Co. Makes the Right Move
With last week’s announcement that it’s removing artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its menu—as well as introducing meats that have never been given antibiotics or hormones—Noodles & Company is going down a much-welcomed path to reviving its brand: honesty.
As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Broomfield, Colorado-based franchise has unleashed a new brand positioning and “food platform” that goes like this: “Real food. Real cooking. Real flavors.” The crux is removing junk from its core menu, including noodles, sauces, soups, condiments, bread and dressing, but excluding beverages, cookies and rice crispies. Sorry, sweet toothers.
CEO Kevin Reddy says the new plan “underscores our commitment to food quality and transparency.” As a foodie and part-time hypochondriac, I couldn’t be happy with this move, and similar moves by other major brands.
With each new domino falling in the direction of honesty in food, we’re getting closer to the time where anything a cut above gas station food comes with a guarantee that it’s not laced with antibiotics or other unwanted stuff.
Noodles is a publicly traded company, and its performance on the stock market throughout 2015 has been a major downer. Its share price has dropped by more than half this year, earning it the dubious company of our other current Scoreboard Top Losers, Regis Corp. and Krispy Kreme.
With good food and pleasing restaurants in generally favorable locations, I’m rooting for Noodles to mount a comeback. Basing it on better food is a smart step to earn some customer goodwill and industry respect.
I’ve never heard the term food platform, but I am on board. For the rest of 2015, my food platform is this: eating better food that’s filled with less of the gross, factory farm-ish stuff I want to avoid.